Otolaryngology (Head and Neck) Surgery

Exceptional Treatment of Head and Neck Disorders, Conditions and Injuries

Loyola Medicine’s experienced otolaryngologists and head and neck surgeons treat a variety of problems of the ear, nose, throat, head and neck—including thyroid and salivary gland disorders, traumatic head injuries and head and neck cancers. Our otolaryngologists and head and neck surgeons are fellowship-trained and work as part of a clinically integrated care team, partnering with audiologists, neurologists and other specialists to provide state-of-the-art surgical techniques and minimally invasive approaches for many types of surgery. 

Loyola’s otolaryngologists and head and neck surgeons have specialized training and vast experience treating common and rare conditions, including:

Patients with head and neck cancer are seen in a multidisciplinary clinic at Loyola’s Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center. Since cancers of the head and neck can progress to advanced stages with only vague, mild symptoms, it is important for patients to get answers as quickly as possible. At Loyola’s head and neck oncology clinic, patients see several specialists at one location in a single visit. Our specialists are actively engaged in cancer research, so patients often have the opportunity to participate in clinical trials for head and neck cancer.

Surgery on the head and neck to remove cancer or other lesions can also affect a patient’s appearance and function, such as facial movement. In these cases, reconstructive surgery is an important part of the treatment plan to regain a natural appearance and improve quality of life. 

Loyola’s otolaryngologists perform reconstructive surgery and collaborate with other surgical specialties to provide the best results possible for each patient. For example, through the Center for Cranial Base Surgery, our specialists have developed a highly sophisticated technique to help patients who have lost facial nerves during cancer treatment regain facial movement. By using separate nerve grafts for the upper and lower face, they can restore a patient’s natural facial expressions.

Why Choose Loyola for Otolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery?

Loyola’s otolaryngology practice is among the top ear, nose and throat (ENT) programs in Illinois and ranked 35th in the nation in U.S. News & World Report’s 2015-16 Best Hospitals List. Using the most advanced audiologic and imaging equipment, our ENT specialists diagnose and treat adults and children with the following conditions:

Loyola provides truly integrated clinical care for ear, nose, throat, head and neck conditions, bringing together specialists in otolaryngology, head and neck surgery, audiology, allergy and immunology and others to provide adults and children with advanced care in a compassionate environment. 

Our otolaryngology surgeons are highly experienced in minimally invasive surgical techniques, including endoscopic sinus surgery and transoral robotic surgery (TORS) for mouth, throat and voice box disorders. We have a reputation for achieving excellent results in endoscopic sinus surgery. Loyola also excels in performing nasal surgery, cranial base surgery and reconstructive surgery of the head and neck, as well as implantation of hearing devices for the middle ear and cochlear implants.

As an academic medical center, our patients have access to the latest medications and therapies through our clinical trials. Loyola’s expert clinicians perform and teach the latest surgical techniques and medical treatments in numerous locations across the Chicago area. Our nurses have earned Magnet status, which means they have been recognized for delivering the highest level of care. 

Otolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgeries Available at Loyola

Loyola delivers innovative therapies to treat ear, nose and throat (ENT) conditions. If other therapies have not been effective, your doctor may recommend surgical treatment. 

Depending on your condition, your surgeon may perform minimally invasive surgery, using an endoscopic approach or robotic-assisted surgery. Minimally invasive surgeries are often preferred for benign and malignant conditions and diseases of the throat, nasal passages, pituitary gland, sinuses, tonsils and voice box. This kind of surgery offers many benefits, including less scarring, a quicker return to daily activities, reduced blood loss, a shorter hospital stay and often a shorter surgery. 

Loyola’s skilled ENT and head and neck surgeons have expertise in the following surgical treatments: 

  • Bone-anchored cochlear implants — Also called osseointegrated hearing implants, this treatment provides a hearing solution for several types of hearing loss—including malformations of the external ear, middle-ear hearing loss and deafness in one ear. Loyola performs more of these implantation surgeries than any other medical center in Illinois. Learn more about bone-anchored cochlear implants.
  • Brain mapping surgery — This technique aids surgeons in pinpointing critical areas of the brain before or during neurosurgery. Loyola’s surgeons use this “awake brain surgery” to spare patients from experiencing function loss and damage to critical areas during surgical resections of brain tumors. Once these key areas are mapped, your surgeon knows which areas should be spared during tumor removal. Learn more about brain mapping surgery.
  • Cleft lip and cleft palate — Our surgical team has vast experience in correcting cleft lip and cleft palate problems, as well as the ear, nose and throat problems often associated with this condition. Learn more about cleft lip and cleft palate.
  • Cochlear implants — For patients with moderate to profound hearing loss who are no longer benefitting from hearing aids, your Loyola audiologist or otolaryngologist may recommend cochlear implant surgery. Unlike a traditional hearing aid, a cochlear implant does not make sound louder or clearer; rather, it bypasses the damaged parts of the auditory system and stimulates the nerve of hearing, allowing you to receive sound. Learn more about cochlear implants.
  • Cranial base tumors and conditions — Loyola’s renowned Center for Cranial Base Surgery treats patients with extensive tumors at the undersurface of the brain, an area that borders on the brain, ears, eyes, nose, throat and neck. Our neurosurgeons, otolaryngologists and other specialists each bring unique expertise to treat cranial base tumors, which often surround the nerves and blood vessels traveling to or from the underside of the brain. The center has developed innovative methods for the safe and complete removal of difficult-to-reach cranial base tumors and lesions that might otherwise be considered inoperable. Our team also treats all noncancerous cranial base conditions, such as aneurysms, brain abscesses and neuralgias. Learn more about Loyola’s Center for Cranial Base Surgery.
  • Facial paralysis – Loyola’s surgeons are experienced in the treatment of facial nerve paralysis and facial nerve disorders. The loss of facial movement due to nerve damage can have a significant effect on your speech, eating and drinking, as well as cause pain, tearing or twitching. The most common causes of facial nerve paralysis are head trauma, infection or inflammation of the facial nerve, head or neck tumor, stroke, Bell’s palsy, facial fractures and ear and salivary gland tumors. Our specialists are experienced in nerve repair surgery to restore facial movement. Learn more about facial paralysis.
  • Fully implanted hearing aids — Loyola is a leader in offering the newest generation of implantable hearing aids for patients whose hearing loss is too significant to benefit from conventional hearing aids. This advanced device is surgically placed in the middle ear, with no visible parts, using the natural ear to pick up sound. A Loyola surgeon was among the first in the Chicago area to implant this type of device, and Loyola has provided more of these devices to patients than any other center in the Midwest. The device has had a profound, life-changing effect on patients. Learn more about fully implanted hearing aids.
  • Hearing and balance surgeries — Our surgical team offers numerous treatments for hearing loss and balance conditions, including acoustic neuroma resection, endolymphatic sac decompression, labyrinthectomy, mastoid surgery for cholesteatoma and vestibular nerve section.
  • Mouth surgery — Mouth cancer treatment may involve radiation therapy, chemotherapy and drug therapy; if needed, your doctor also may recommend surgery. Loyola offers the latest surgical techniques to treat oral cancer.
  • Nasal and sinus surgery — Our team is highly skilled in endoscopic treatment of sinus cancer and sinus disorders. We also have vast experience in treating nasal conditions such as deviated septum, nasal polyps and hypertrophic turbinate.
  • Neuro-endovascular therapy — A collaborative team of cranial base surgeons, neurologists, neurosurgeons, neuroradiologists, neuro anesthesiologists and others are experts in treating cerebrovascular diseases and disorders affecting the cranial base. These conditions include stroke, carotid occlusion and other disorders affecting the brain’s blood supply without surgery.
  • Reconstructive surgery — Loyola understands the frustration that a congenital deformity can cause and the painful emotional toll that a car accident or head cancer can leave behind. Our specialists will help to make you feel whole again with reconstructive surgical treatment. Learn more about reconstructive surgery.
  • Stereotactic radiation oncology program — This approach is effective in treating small tumors of the head and brain when conventional surgery or standard radiation therapy may pose too great a risk to the patient. The procedure delivers a single dose of radiation that is precisely matched to the 3D shape of the tumor while protecting nearby structures. Loyola is one of the few centers in the country to acquire a new shaped-beam stereotactic radiotherapy system, which targets tumors and other lesions with submillimeter accuracy. 
  • Throat, voice box and esophageal surgery — Loyola’s surgeons offer video-endoscopic and laser-based techniques to examine and treat disorders of the voice box, throat and esophagus on an outpatient basis. Our specialists are well-known for successful outcomes in the surgical treatment of thyroid disease and nodules, thyroid cancer, voice box cancer, complex airway disease and swallowing disorders like dysphagia. 
  • Transoral robotic surgery (TORS) — Ear, nose and throat surgeons at Loyola offer TORS for operations of the mouth, throat and voice box. This surgical approach provides ENT surgeons enhanced capabilities, allowing for exceptional visualization, control and precision. Using this minimally invasive approach, surgeons can magnify a tumor at different angles rather than trying to peer inside the mouth. The wristed robotic arm can make incisions from angles that challenged surgeons in the past. This minimally invasive approach offers patients a shorter hospital stay, less pain and shorter recovery times. Learn more about TORS.

Advanced Surgical Treatments at Numerous Multidisciplinary Facilities

Loyola’s otolaryngology and head and neck surgery program provides advanced surgical treatment in outstanding, conveniently located facilities. We have multidisciplinary facilities at the Loyola University Medical Center campus, in addition to outpatient services at other locations. 

Loyola offers the following specialized services to provide you with the most comprehensive care:

  • Balance Disorders Center — Our center provides a multidisciplinary approach to caring for patients with dizziness, unsteadiness, vertigo, buzzing in the ears and hearing loss. Otolaryngologists, otologists, neurologists, neurotologists and physical therapists offer specific expertise in balance disorders, which can be difficult to diagnose. Learn more about our Balance Disorders Center.
  • Cancer survivorship program — Cancer survivors have unique healthcare needs, and our program will ensure that you receive appropriate long-term screenings and follow-up care. Your team may include oncologists, psychologists, social workers, genetic counselors, nutritionists and chaplains. Learn more about our cancer support services
  • Center for Cranial Base Surgery — This center, which was the first of its kind in the Midwest, was established in 1988 and performs skull base surgery for patients with tumors and vascular lesions located on the underside of the brain. The center has developed innovative methods for the safe and complete removal of difficult-to-reach cranial base tumors and lesions that might otherwise be considered inoperable. Our team also treats all noncancerous cranial base conditions, such as aneurysms, brain abscesses and neuralgias. Learn more about Loyola’s Center for Cranial Base Surgery.
  • Center for Voice and Esophageal Disorders — Loyola’s center provides comprehensive diagnosis and advanced treatment options for disorders of the voice box (larynx) and throat (pharynx).
  • Head and neck oncology clinic — Our clinic provides consultation, evaluation and treatment of head and neck tumors. Your care team may include surgical, medical and radiation oncologists, plastic and reconstructive surgeons, maxillofacial surgeons, dentists, speech therapists, clinical social workers, nutritionists and oral pathologists. Learn more about head and neck cancer.
  • Nasal Sinus Center — Our center provides both adults and children with consultation, diagnosis and treatment of nasal and sinus problems, including blocked nasal breathing, nasal drainage, postnasal drip, headaches and pain in the temples or above the eyes.
  • Neuro-trauma care — Our skilled emergency transport team is available 24/7 to transport patients to our Level I Trauma Center for life-threatening situations like car accidents and stroke.
  • Pediatric ENT — Loyola’s pediatric ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialists treat children with ear, nose and throat problems, such as inner-ear infections, hearing loss, nasal obstructions and head and neck tumors. Loyola is one of only two major sinus treatment centers for children in the Midwest. Learn more about pediatric ENT.
  • Radiation oncology services — Known for clinical excellence, Loyola’s radiologists offer leading-edge imaging and therapeutic technologies, including stereotactic radiation therapy, interventional neuroradiology, pediatric radiology and 3D imaging.
  • Sleep Disorders Center — Our center, which is accredited by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, provides a comprehensive approach to treating adult and pediatric sleep disorders, including snoring and sleep apnea. Loyola’s ENT specialists collaborate with our sleep specialists to offer laser-assisted uvulopalatoplasty, an inexpensive outpatient procedure to treat snoring disorder and sleep apnea through removal of the uvula. Learn more about sleep disorders.
  • Swallowing Center — Loyola’s medical experts use a full range of innovative technologies and therapies to diagnose and treat swallowing disorders, which can occur at any point as food travels from the mouth to the stomach. Learn more about our Swallowing Center.
  • Voice, Laryngeal and Esophageal Disorders Center — Our highly specialized doctors and speech pathologists offer diagnosis, non-surgical and surgical treatment for disorders of the voice box, throat and esophagus.

Advanced Research to Improve Head and Neck Surgery

Loyola’s expert otolaryngology and head and neck surgery program is actively pursuing new research with a focus on patient-centered outcomes. Our research has led to more effective ways to restore hearing, treat incapacitating vertigo, diagnose and treat sinusitis, treat head and neck cancer with better functional outcomes and preserve hearing in cranial base tumor surgery. 

As an academic medical center, Loyola is dedicated to improving future treatments by conducting research on new diagnostics and treatments. Loyola’s patients benefit from research discoveries made here. Read about Loyola’s current clinical trials.